When school is in session, it’s the perfect time to renew your family’s healthy eating habits by getting in a groove of lunchbox packing. While packing a healthy school lunch day after day can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be with customizable, make-ahead lunchbox inspiration like Black Bean Empanadas and Rainbow Bento Boxes.
Pack a Healthier Lunchbox this School Year
(Family Features) When school is in session, it's the perfect time to renew your family's healthy eating habits by getting in a groove of lunchbox packing.
While packing a healthy school lunch day after day can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be. By taking the free Power Your Lunchbox Promise, you can gain access to customizable, make-ahead lunchbox inspiration like Black Bean Empanadas and Rainbow Bento Boxes, which creatively include servings of fruits and veggies to keep kids' brains charged all day.
Making the promise not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices this year, it also helps those in need. For every promise made, health-focused partner brands will collectively donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. In addition to kid- and registered dietitian-approved breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes, the promise website features coupons, health tips to help your family during the school year, lunchbox ideas and giveaways.
Additionally, teachers have a special section of the site where they can make the promise as a classroom and download free fruit and veggie themed classroom decor and lesson plans.
To find your lunchbox inspiration and make the promise, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.
Rainbow Bento Box
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Black Bean Empanadas
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Produce for Kids
“With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. “The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy.” In this article, Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
(BPT) - If you’re like most expecting moms, you’ve already heard that a healthy, whole foods diet is best for you and baby, one that features plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins.
However, many expecting moms are also battling nausea and indigestion, especially during the earliest stages. That can make the idea of eating nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods less appealing. All the while, it doesn’t make you worry any less about getting all the nourishment the two of you need.
“With morning sickness, gassiness and managing the pain of swollen joints, feeling good during pregnancy can be a challenge for any woman,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and Vitamin Packs Medical Advisor. “The good news is, there are lots of things you can do to maintain a healthy diet and feel as good as possible during your pregnancy.”
Somer shares nutrition tips and the top nutrients to help you feel your best and support your health during pregnancy.
Manage through morning sickness
Not long after you celebrate your pregnancy, morning sickness may settle in while your energy levels really start to lag. You can thank the surge of new hormones going through your body. At the same time, you may be concerned about getting enough folic acid (vitamin B9), as this is an essential nutrient that supports the baby’s brain and spinal cord development.
While nausea can dampen anyone’s desire to eat, it’s important to make sure you’re still nourishing your body. Try eating smaller meals throughout the day, don’t lie down after eating, and always take your prenatal vitamins with food. Choosing the right vitamins can help, too. Prenatal vitamins from Vitamin Packs are made with organic ginger and a more absorbable form of vitamin B6, helping to ease your upset stomach and nausea.
Get the nourishment you and baby need
Somer recommends every expecting mother take a multivitamin during pregnancy, starting with a quick online assessment on VitaminPacks.com/prepostnatal/. Your medications, diet and health concerns will be factored into your personalized selection of supplements, so you can be assured that taking them will be safe and effective during this critical time. You also can pull from their online library to get more information about any of their supplements. And, if you have any further questions or concerns about getting your nutritional needs met, a consultation with a nutritionist is just a phone call away. You deserve the best foundation of nutritional support that’s personalized for you and baby.
Mind your portions
After you get past that challenging first trimester, you’ll most likely be more in the mood to eat. Remember, weight gain is perfectly normal and healthy. In fact, you will need to consume extra calories to support the changes and development taking place inside your body. By the time you’re ready to give birth, your blood volume can go up as much as 60 percent, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Even so, steer clear of the “eating for two” mindset. Too much weight can worsen your health, and keep you from feeling your best, especially if it leads to gestational diabetes and other serious health conditions. Talk to your doctor and take the advice on how many calories you should consume in a day.
Eat your fish
During pregnancy, your baby’s brain is undergoing rapid development. To support this, opt for foods that are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially during the second trimester. Common foods that contain these good fats are fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon and herring. If the idea of eating fish makes you queasy, there are vegetarian sources available in the form of algae DHA omega-3 supplements.
Choose plenty of fruits and veggies
There’s a bounty of nutrients and micronutrients found in produce that can help mother and baby in numerous ways. Antioxidants found in dark colored produce, such as blueberries, broccoli and carrots, support the baby’s brain health. Plus, eating fruits and veggies is one way to stay hydrated and relieve constipation (which is all too common during pregnancy).
Get ready for motherhood by taking on a healthy mindset and a nourishing diet. You and your baby will both reap the benefits!
Coming up with fresh ideas every day to keep kids’ lunches exciting is no small task. When the goal is an empty lunchbox and a full, happy tummy, the winning combination is a blend of nutrition and flavor. Step up your game this school year with these ideas for a better lunchbox, and try this recipe for Portable Veggie Kabobs with Tangy Veggie Dip.
6 Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox
(Family Features) Coming up with fresh ideas every day to keep kids’ lunches exciting is no small task. When the goal is an empty lunchbox and a full, happy tummy, the winning combination is a blend of nutrition and flavor.
Step up your game this school year with these ideas for a better lunchbox:
Get creative. Foods that look can good taste good, too. Transform sandwiches into fun shapes using cookie cutters or make tiny heart- or star-shaped, bite-size pieces of cheese for a fun finger food. Another fun idea: thread sliced and bite-sized vegetables on a wooden stick for a no-cook kabob. For a sweet variation, use fruit instead and sprinkle with coconut for extra flavor.
Skip the packaging. Little fingers can struggle to open pre-packaged foods, so instead opt for fresh ingredients that fit into a bento-style box. Not only can kids see what tasty treats await and dig straight into their meals, less packaging means less processing, which is good for their health and the environment.
Keep it simple. Opt for delicious, flavorful foods that deliver nutrients kids need and the taste they want without any extras. An option like Hidden Valley Simply Ranch makes for a rich and creamy complement to carrot sticks, cucumber and other lunchbox staples. With no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors this ranch is perfect for encouraging kids to eat the veggies you pack. Look for Classic Ranch or for a special twist, try flavors such as Cucumber Basil or Chili Lime.
Rely on the familiar. Refueling during the day is important to keep kids focused and able to mentally and physically tackle the rest of the school day. Avoid trying out new foods at lunchtime and save experimenting with new flavors for meals at home.
Go for variety. Representing multiple foods groups isn’t only a good way to deliver good nutrition, the variety in colors and textures can make the meal more interesting and encourage kids to eat more. Include savory meats, crunchy crackers, veggies and sweet fruits.
Add a treat. Whether it’s a favorite fruit or yogurt, a single piece of candy or even a simple note that says “I love you and I’m proud of you,” find a way to add something sweet to every lunch and bring a smile to your child’s daily routine.
Look for more kid-friendly meals at hiddenvalley.com.
Portable Veggie Kabobs with Tangy Veggie Dip
Prep time: 5 minutes
Tip: Add cheese cubes for protein on kabobs, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Mick JonesSOURCE:
Interested in Publishing on The Parenting IDEA?
Send your query to the Publisher today!